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Ten-man Partick Thistle edge Airdrieonians in feisty Scottish Cup tie

Ten-man Partick Thistle kept their Scottish Cup dream alive with a 1-0 win over Airdrieonians in a feisty encounter at Firhill.

A first-half Brian Graham tap-in was enough to seal progression to the Fifth Round, despite a controversial red card for Tunji Akinola just a few minutes into the second half.

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(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Backed by a vociferous away section, Airdrie started the brighter of the two sides. Callum Smith and Adam Frizzell looked lively in the final third, while skipper Callum Fordyce mustered a deflected effort on target.

However, the first gilt-edged opportunity fell to the hosts.

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In the 22nd minute, after Airdrie lost possession deep inside their own half, Graham slipped in Zak Rudden, whose low driven shot was well saved by Max Currie.

Thistle would take the lead just three minutes later, though, with Cammy Smith getting in behind and sliding the ball across the face of goal to the unmarked Graham, who converted with ease.

The opener sparked the home crowd into life and it was almost two soon after, when winger Scott Tiffoney beat several defenders with a mazy run before slamming a shot off the outside of the left post.

A spectacular volleyed effort from Ross Docherty tested Currie in the 43rd minute and then Rudden saw a shot on the stretch blocked, but the visitors managed to make it to the interval without any more damage.

The break took the sting out of Thistle’s assault and Airdrie were handed a lifeline in the 51st minute by referee David Munro.

To the disbelief of the Firhill faithful, Akinola was shown a straight red card for what was adjudged to be a last-man foul on Jordan Allan.

Ian McCall sacrificed some attacking threat soon after by replacing Rudden with Stephen Hendrie, and the visitors struggled to make their extra man count.

In fact, it was Thistle who had more sightings at goal in the following 20 minutes, with Hendrie’s long-range strike briefly worrying Currie, before the keeper rushed from his line to thwart Graham following a ball over the top.

With ten minutes remaining, Airdrie substitute Callum Gallagher had a shot from a tight angle kept out by Jamie Sneddon and then Frizzell hit the side-netting, but Ian Murray’s side didn’t do enough to find an equaliser and they were fortunate to avoid a red card of their own in the dying embers of the game when Tiffoney appeared to be taken out when through on goal.

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Categories: Match ReportNewsScottish Cup